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Healthy Habits: The Many Benefits of Exercise posted on 06/30/2023

By Amber Ford
The Mountain Times

As the cold, rainy and gray days of spring taper off and the sun begins to shine down on the Mt. Hood Villages, many residents are feeling the Vitamin D and a resurgence to do that old “bug-a-boo” — exercise. While there are many physical benefits of consistent and regimented exercise, physical movement can also have lasting benefits for mental health as well.  
According to Hoodland Sport and Fitness owner and expert in sports science and exercise physiology, Seth Tinker, working out can have lasting positive impressions on the body, both physically and mentally.

“Working out can improve overall health, quality of life, longevity, independence as we age, and social and mental well being as well,” Tinker said. “During all exercise, even more so during intense physical exercise, the body produces chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins relieve pain, reduce stress and improve your sense of well being,” Tinker added. While many avid gym members and fitness enthusiasts keep to their fitness regimens throughout the entire year, regardless of weather conditions, the warm, sunny days provide much needed relief for those who prefer outdoor physical activity to being inside of a gym.

“I try to keep my workout routines consistent throughout the year, but when the sun comes out and the weather gets warmer, it seems to be a little easier to motivate myself,” local and avid exerciser Jessica Thomason said.

Having been a part of the Beach Body community (an online exercise program) for many years, Thomason finds that while working out from home can be beneficial in terms of strength and weight training, getting outside is preferential in regards to both her mental and physical health.
“I really do love weight training and being focused on improving in those areas, but there’s something different about running and hiking in the summertime. It almost feels more natural, especially living on the mountain,” Thomason said. “Feeling the breeze and the sun and being aware of my surroundings in such a beautiful place makes me not only feel like I’m doing something good for myself physically, but also helps clear my head and keeps me moving,” Thomason added.

Whether avid exercise is routine or someone is just beginning or getting back into exercise, the first workout can be the most challenging part of the process. “The best suggestion I can give people just starting their exercise journey is to find a time that works for you consistently, every day,” Tinker said. “Start with a 30 minute window and take that time to make it yours. Every day force yourself to do something active in that 30 minutes regardless of how busy, tired and stressed, or how much you just don’t want to. Do it consistently for 6 weeks and watch what happens. You will feel more energetic, your body will start to change in positive ways, you will crave the physical activity,” Tinker added.  

Tinker acknowledges the importance of that first exercise step and understands how intimidating and uncomfortable it can be, and also suggests that those beginning or returning also consult an exercise professional to help ease into the process.  

“There are LOTS of types of instructors, therapists, personal trainers, etc,” Tinker said.  “If you go this route, explore the difference and know what you’re paying for. Personal trainers vary from someone who took a 1 day online class to someone with a master’s degree or higher. If they (personal trainers) have a B.S. in a health-related field (exercise phys., kinesiology, exercise sports science), they are already vetted to some extent and you know you’re paying for someone who made an investment in their own professional education,” Tinker said.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) guidelines suggest moderate to intense activity for a minimum of thirty minutes a day five times a week. Heart rate suggestions vary based on age ranges and the specific type of training being performed. ACSM also suggests individuals perform strength training exercises on major muscle groups at least three times a week.

Hoodland Sport and Fitness is open seven days a week, 24 hours a day and memberships and training sessions can be made by appointment via Tinker at 503-313-6056. 



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